Broccoli And Cheese Stuffed Chicken

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INGREDIENTS
*** For the stuffing ***
▪️1 1/3 cup of blanched broccoli florets, chopped small
▪️1/4 cup of red bell pepper, finely chopped
▪️1/3 cup of shredded cheese (cheddar/marble/mozzarella - your choice!)
▪️3-4 tablespoons of light cream cheese
▪️1 teaspoon of minced garlic
▪️1/4 teaspoon of paprika powder
▪️1/4 teaspoon of onion powder
▪️1/4 teaspoon of salt
▪️Pinch of black pepper
*** For the chicken ***
▪️4 medium chicken breasts (boneless/skinless)
▪️Salt/pepper/garlic powder/paprika powder
▪️2 tablespoons of olive oil

DIRECTIONS
🔹️Stovetop in a pot bring water to a boil and blanch broccoli florets for 3-4 minutes. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water. Chop florets into small pieces then measure out to 1 1/3 cup.
🔹️In a bowl combine all stuffing ingredients. Mix well to soften/incorporate the cream cheese until combined and mixture sticks together. Set aside.
🔹️Pre-heat oven to 425F.
🔹️Time to prepare the chicken breasts! Slightly pound each chicken breast on both sides with a meat mallet to thin out. Don't over do it.
🔹️Create a pocket in the chicken breast by cutting a slit into the side of each piece, lengthwise. Do not cut all the way through/do not cut into the ends or this will separate the chicken. Simply create an open pocket approximately 3/4 into the breast to hold the filling.
🔹️Stuff each chicken breast with filling. Ensure that the filling is not spilling out. Using 2-3 toothpicks secure the edges of the chicken pockets to hold the filling inside.
🔹️Stovetop heat olive oil in a large pan and sear chicken on medium heat, 4 minutes on each side.
🔹️Transfer chicken to baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for approximately 17-19 minutes depending on size and thickness.

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